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  • Transmission / Overdrive: O/D questions

    I have a '61 Hawk with a '56 Hawk and 2 piece driveshaft. Gonna replace both when I can hang the car up, but I wanna drive it! Question #1- is the wiring harness different between the two? I have a relay on the firewall now, not sure the '61 had one, also, does the later GM o/d's use a relay? Question #2- If the '61 uses a relay, can I use one of the little square black ones that you can find everywhere? My problem is last spring I changed the trans fluid and last summer I took an 89 mile trip to a car show, worked great to the show but when I headed for home the o/d would not engage (free wheeling worked tho) thought I blew a fuse. Checked fuse o.k. Took car out couple days later, o/d worked fine fora while then same thing happened. I'm guessing the solenoid is sticking. I'm thinking of draining the fluid and refilling with SAE 10 oil. Problem didn't start until I changed the fluid.

  • #2
    Do you mean you have a 61 Hawk with a 56 Hawk engine and transmission?
    I hope when you drained the transmission that you filled both the transmission case and the overdrive section. If the overdrive was starved for lubricant it is damaged. I think you want 40 wt. oil.
    If the trans is properly filled, you may be right that the solenoid is sticking. The likely cause of overdrive not working is electrical. My kick down button sometimes sticks after being used. another likely suspect is oil contamination on the solenoid and/or governor points. Mine were soaked when I opened them up. A bit of cleaning will do wonders.
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup

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    • #3
      GL-1 oil.............

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      • #4
        I used GL1 oil when I refilled both parts of trans. I have '61 289 with the '56 trans, he must have had a '56 parts car. When I bought the car I got a '61 trans and bell housing in the trunk, I don't think the P/O could find a driveshaft. The electrical part seems to work ok. The problem started after I changed the trans fluid.- Jim

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        • #5
          Still looking for answers for the relay questions. My relay works ok for now, but for future reference. I'm not interested in originality, just reliability!- Jim

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          • #6
            There are no "later GM" Overdrives in Studebakers, they are all Borg Warner (T-86 for most V8's).

            Later Studes do not use a Relay, if you do that you should be able to modify your Wire Harness to work.

            The 1961 and on Models use a different Kick-down Switch, and Solenoid.

            The Electrical System is NOT OK, if it freewheels rather than shift.

            This sounds like another case of Oil soaked Contacts in the Governor. Clean with Brake Clean.
            Last edited by StudeRich; 04-22-2019, 01:45 PM.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              Thanks, I'm gonna try cleaning the contacts on the '56 o/d for now. My plan is to use the Saginaw 4 spd with the B/W o/d that came on '65 ? Chev. Thanks again.- Jim

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              • #8
                If it came on a 65 Chevy, it's not a B-W. I believe the only OD standard trans offered by GM in those days was a light duty unit made by Muncie. It was never offered on anything bigger than a 283 with a 2-bbl carb.
                Skip Lackie

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                • #9
                  Sure looks like a b/w to me. I took it apart using the b/w section in an old motor's manual and my memory from the ones I played with in the late 50's. The trans isn't at home right now, when I can get at it, I'll post the casting marks etc.( I seem to remember R10 on it. -Jim

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                  • #10
                    Your confusing is probably that the later Chevy 400 and 700 Automatics had overdrive.
                    If you are going to play with overdrives you should buy Randy Ruddle's overdrive
                    book.
                    http://fifthaveinternetgarage.com/overdrive_parts.php

                    Go to parts and the pulldown manu says:
                    overdrive parts and the last item is Randy's excellent book on overdrives.
                    Last edited by rkapteyn; 04-25-2019, 07:07 AM.

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                    • #11
                      No confusion, the four speed is a Sag., the O/D is a B/W R10. The trans I took the O/D off of was a '65 Chevelle. The Sag. O/D was only used in '65 &'66 full size Chev's & Chevelle's with 6 cyl and 283's. The only difference I have found between the Stude. and the Chev. is the adapter plate connecting the trans. case to the O/D case and the input shaft for the O/D unit. -Jim

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jrlemke View Post
                        No confusion, the four speed is a Sag., the O/D is a B/W R10. The trans I took the O/D off of was a '65 Chevelle. The Sag. O/D was only used in '65 &'66 full size Chev's & Chevelle's with 6 cyl and 283's. The only difference I have found between the Stude. and the Chev. is the adapter plate connecting the trans. case to the O/D case and the input shaft for the O/D unit. -Jim
                        For more than forty years, hot rodders searched wrecking yards for the extremely rare Saginaw three-speed overdrive to mount behind the relatively common Saginaw four-speed transmission. This conversion has been featured more than once in Hot Rod, et al.

                        Those with very long memories will remember this type conversion was developed by Tom Beatty in the early '60s. He machined a special mainshaft for the B-W T10 to adapt the R11 overdrive. Our friend Alan Emory built several of these for Tom. Alan let me have the very last one he did. I'm still looking for the perfect application for this T10 overdrive. He built it up with a Chevy pattern case and input shaft, so it would be too cool in a '65-66 Stude.

                        jack vines
                        PackardV8

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                        • #13
                          The B/W O/D fits the Sag. 4 spd Just drilling two holes in the 4 spd case and swapping parts. Must use the 4 spd case! Syncros, shafts, brngs are all the same. I copied the how-to from Hot Rod mag. many years ago. If anyone is interested, I can send them a copy. Shift linkage is the hardest part. I was at a swap meet yesterday, a vendor had a Sag. 4 spd O/D (he's had it there for at least 5 years). He was asking $1200.00 for it, with no shift linkage. I've had mine in two cars and a van and haven't broken it yet, been behind a 300 c.i. Buick, and 2 322 c.i. Nailhead Buicks, one with 3X2 tri-power.- Jim

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jrlemke View Post
                            No confusion, the four speed is a Sag., the O/D is a B/W R10. The trans I took the O/D off of was a '65 Chevelle. The Sag. O/D was only used in '65 &'66 full size Chev's & Chevelle's with 6 cyl and 283's. The only difference I have found between the Stude. and the Chev. is the adapter plate connecting the trans. case to the O/D case and the input shaft for the O/D unit. -Jim
                            I stand corrected. My statement in post 8 above was based on my own memory of unsuccessfully trying to get an OD behind a 300/327-equipped 62 Chevy, and a review of an inch-thick 46-64 Chevy parts book. Was too lazy to pick up the 10-inch thick 65-75 Chevy parts book, which DOES show the 65-66 Saginaw OD unit.
                            Skip Lackie

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